The Kitten, the Witches and the Bad Wardrobe - Willow & Tara Forever

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 8:58 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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dibsies again?

No? So close. Back with fb later, I promise...

K, I'm back. Rocking hilarious, Artemis. I never thought I'd see the day when Willow and Tara would battle Terminator Reindeer and St Nick the wonder demon. You had some terrific one-liners! "Don't atomise anybody with a soul" (haha!) Were you also channeling some Artemis Fowl? Sounds like stuff he would end up in. What with Willow's wacky inventions and all. Your quip about Lost was also bloody brilliant.

Well done, I say! I'm glad this story came to you, and thank you for sharing!

Phoenix


Last edited by Tara the Phoenix on Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:02 am 
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4. Extra Flamey
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Awwwww! That was fantastic AND fantastical! It was a really nice breath of fluff that was just very well written and straight-forward. I loved Willow's quirky genius (and in conjunction, your quirky genius) and that they started out as best friends rather than girlfriends already. It just made the ending all the more sweet.

And a laugh about the mothers. :P

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:50 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

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That was freaking awesome!

About halfway through, I was planning to quote all of the things that made me laugh and make some sort of ridiculous comment about each of them. But by the time I got to the end, there were so many things that I laughed at out loud, that I just can't do it. My FB would be way too long.

Their quips and funny things that Willow invents and Buffy pouting and the Moms in the hot tub. We met em - We blew em up. Totally rocked. Awesome story. For Real.

Thanks so much!


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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:08 pm 
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30. Sweaty and Kinda Gay
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So I guess it's no secret that I've been pretty much a walking zombie for the last few months, what with holding down two jobs and trying to sneak some sleep inside the spaces between (which I've not been too successful in doing thus far, hence the zombie). Not to mention that there's all this great Kitten fanfic that I've been neglecting too...so this morning I was all "You know what? I'll tell you what! (I was talking to myself) I'm sooo going to get caught up today." So I came downstairs (In my purple fleece pajamas (( the ones with the feet)), sat down at the computer and signed on. This was my first stop 'cause RKT? HELLZ to the yes!

Debra... Your command of words and period speak (um...TIME period! :blush) is just beyond anything...ever. I'm coming out firmly on the stance that you are a super genius. Nope. No arguing... S.U.P.E.R G.E.N.I.U.S and that's that. I'm heading the committee to make Debra day an official holiday... also, Debra for president sounds pretty great.

I loved Tara and Willow...and I can't begin to tell you how surprised and excited I was to see a little Emms thrown into the mix... My cockles are thoroughly warmed.

Chris ~ FUNNY! I love you, 'cos you're always bringin' the hilarity. I don't think I've laughed so hard since Space Quest. You are certainly of the awesome persuasion. King of Awesome?

Willow and Tara: Teenage do-gooders (cutesy world-savers)… saving Christmas (and all that). And me as an ELF?!! SQUEAL! I’ve always wanted to be an elf…! I’ve always wanted to take Santa down!!

Toy army: Awesome
Evil Santa: Awesome
Eggnog euphemism: Awesome.
Me replacing Santa: Double AWESOME!

I so need a T-shirt that says: My Stocking's been stuffed by RKT (Euphemism much?)

Who's next, who's next??

xoxo
Emms

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 5:32 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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Chris,

Always a hoot to read your words. I was filled with massive amounts of geeker joy when I signed in and saw that you had stuffed our stockin's with this gem.

I love little Emmy. She gets ups for the best line of the story (that, "Right, not 'together' at all," quip regarding the obviously smitten Will and Tare).

Big Frilly Gun... I wonder how long 'til someone snags that as their screenname.

Thanks for the holiday sweetness.

Kat!


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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 7:17 pm 
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9. Gay Now
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*giggle*

Willow and Tara save Christmas, indeed! Yes indeedy!

Chris, you and your mind continue to amaze me... as does the image of a scantily clad Tara kicking Cordy's ass in Volleyball. You know, I would pay a not-insignificant sum to be able to see that match. :pray

The vehicle, inside vehicle, inside vehicle inside vehicle thing totally cracked me up, Emmy elf was precious and cute and perfect, Tara kicking ass and taking names was not too shabby ...and the kiss under the tree magic!

But Sheila in a hot tub with Tara's mom. Uh. I mean, I am sure it is all fine and *completely* platonic, I am sure the girls will think it's perfectly normal and uh, stuff like that. Who am I kidding? They'll freak. Big time.

It seems like your mind never stops coming up with these creative and delightful stories, and I (for one) am very grateful!

Thanks for sharing another amazing story!

db

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 8:30 pm 
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32. Kisses and Gay Love
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Chris - This was awesome and had a real Cyd-feel to it. Take that as a compliment. I kept wanting to check the author and see if it still said Artemis. I started out copying and pasting lines to quote but it got too much. The idea of Willow inventing things as an extra-curricular and contacting Tara the jock is just great. Their moms were hysterical and over the top and seriously: Tara called Willow "sweetie" 31 times or so and Willow didn't know Tara liked her? Wake up! I love the gift and kiss at the end.

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:54 am 
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Great scenario,wonderful fic.


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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:40 am 
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14. Lesbo Street Cred
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Oh man, that was really fun. Really. What a great idea to: a) have everyone so blasé about the W/T superhero factor and b) turning everything we'd assumed on its head. Very smooth dialogue, and the nonchalant way that they said
Quote:
"Intel's sketchy, but it looks like we may need to save Christmas. Also the world."

"Oh, good luck then. Don't atomise anything with a soul."


and Willow's
Quote:
I invent stuff.

I can just imagine everything said with a shrug and a smirk.

As usual, you've put in so many great little details that make the story richer, like the
Quote:
BFG-9000

and
Quote:
"I haven't got around to putting the rampaging giant pork pie incident on our blog yet."

Hee, snort :rofl and all that. It is a sign of the times, that blogs rule. (They do!!!)

Who would have thought that Santa and Rudolf are the chief Big Bads. It's hilarious, to think of such confirmed goodness turning bad. In the hands of other writers it probably would have seemed silly or contrived. But you gave it such a light, delicate touch here that makes it all so believable. And fun.

Well now, in the spirit of "turning everything on its head", if Evil!Santa hadn't been trapped in an impromptu chimney wormhole conjured up by Willow, it's conceivable that stormtroopers could have showed up and arrested him. What? It's true. If a major blog like gizmodo says so, it must be so:

Image

[br]

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:42 am 
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19. Yummy Face
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Great story! Loved Willows Quirky Science...

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:44 pm 
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13. Big Knowledge Woman
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Chris,
You sleigh me with your always inventive and twistedly comedic assaults upon what are generally regarded to be holiday cliches.
The cult of mediocrity has co-opted a great number of the traditionally secular Yuletide icons but you sir always manage to breathe fresh life into them with a flourish of well-turned phrase and a soupcon of smut.
The tone was set ealy on with Tara being an atlhetic sporty volleyball player and Willow delivering a cheer as only she could.
Faster than you can say "When Worlds Collide", we were off on another mission for WIllow and Tara to save the world, provided they could get permission from their mothers' first.
Imagine them travelling to the North Pole and saying that Emmy the elf would have to work things out on her own because they had a note from Epstein's mother saying that they were suffering from lipsprain from standing under the mistletoe.
The coiling vines of holly were a nice touch and shades of the deadly whirling Christmas tree and the exploding ornaments in the 10th Doctor stories "The Christmas Invasion" and "The Runaway Bride".
Nothing more menacing than ordinary traditions one associates with peace and goood will and they try to make it a silent night, deadly night.
Love the return of the image of Tara in the form-fitting HALO suit.
Quote:
Uh, the song goes 'you'd better not pout,' maybe he doesn't like pouting?" Tara suggested.

"Maybe, but I still haven't got the teleporter working, so there's no way to get Buffy here in a hurry," Willow said.

That was my favorite dialogue sequence as it certainly defined Buffy's chief characteristic in one word.
WIllow=mocha Tara=smile Buffy=pout.
The ending has just that feeling of overindulgence on eggnog and other potent potables.
There is the deliciously warming sensation of Willow and Tara sitting on the couch kissing and then the burning lingering aftertaste of having to imagine their mothers' going at it hammer and tongs in the hot tub.

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 6:23 am 
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17. Mega-Witches
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Debra,

So sorry for the late feedback! I so, so enjoyed Love Comes to Long Lick. I think it was brilliant to have the story told solely from Willow's point of view. I loved how naive she was about her feelings about Tara, and how she slowly came to realize them over the course of the story.

Seems like Tara knew all along, though. She seemed like such a proper lady, but then we found out at the end that she was making innuendos (or at least one innuendo) from the first time she met Willow. Heh!

I loved the intimate tone of Willow's inner narrative. Reading her thoughts about Tara, the town, the people, and everything felt very cozy and warm. And when the story was less about Willow's inner world and more about current events, the transition felt totally natural. This story just flowed from start to finish - I lost myself in it, which is a great thing.

Also - how much do I love it that Anya runs a bawdy house and that Faith is the bartender? You peopled the landscape so well with the Sunnydale crowd.

Bra-vo!

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 7:56 am 
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17. Mega-Witches
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Chris, this was such hilarious good fun. What a hoot of a tale! There were several LOL moments (which is funny when I'm at work - who knows what my coworkers think). This line especially made me giggle:

Quote:
"Uh, the song goes 'you'd better not pout,' maybe he doesn't like pouting?" Tara suggested.

"Maybe, but I still haven't got the teleporter working, so there's no way to get Buffy here in a hurry," Willow said.


Ha!

Also, it was so cute, the gifts that Emmy delivered to the girls. And I loved it that their moms were together - the hints you put in there were so clever. This will probably make future family time a little weird if they end up being stepsisters, but then again. Anyway, this was a great story, a wonderful concept, and awesomely executed.

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 6:11 pm 
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28. Com...plete
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I adore RKT series! When's the next update due? I've been checking every day :pinky


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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 10:38 am 
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18. Breast Gal
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Firstly, Elvis: Love Comes to Long Lick is as irresistably enjoyable as its title :blush It's a really interesting portrayal of Willow you've got here, and with everything seen through her eyes she comes across so strongly - different in some surface ways to her canon self, calmer (mostly) and more at peace with her place in the world, and of course naive in some rather obvious ways - but beneath that she's the same Willow, bright and eager to please and very smart. She may not have had a 21st Century education, but there's no denying she's a quick and instinctive thinker regardless. And that combination of rural simplicity and uncluttered brightness made for some truly lovely moments - I adore how, when she asks Tara if a girl can love another girl, she just accepts the answer, no denial or confusion or social conditioning to the contrary - just "Here's a fact, it makes sense and fits what's going on, let's say it's true then." It was a real joy to get to see all the layers of personality and feeling beneath the surface of her, and no wonder Tara decided to stay :wtkiss

Now then, replies:

Alex: Thanks :) Yup, it's crazy, but I do like crazy so ;-) I think spending all my time working away on a serious novel means I have to let off steam with things like this and Space Quest and so on.

Phoenix: Thank you :) Glad you liked the one-liners - I'm horrible at judging my own humour, so it's always a relief when someone else gets a laugh out of it. I haven't read Artemis Fowl, but I've heard it mentioned, and it sounds like something I might like to read at some point (if I ever get some free time).

diamondforever: Thanks. When I first thought this up there wasn't the Kim Possible teenage heroes angle, and it was more inspired by Doom, with W&T as adults, more serious monster-fighting, and so on. Still silly, due to the whole Christmas thing, but more along the lines of silly by way of being a serious story in such a ridiculous setting, rather than goofy fun that no-one, not even the characters, takes seriously. But I couldn't really think of an actual story, besides 'see monster, blast monster' - the idea to make them shy teenagers was where that came from, to have them start out best friends but oblivious to their mutual attraction. I'm glad you liked the mothers too - that was a late addition, but an idea I've had in mind for some time that, until now, I've never had the opportunity to use.

taraslove: Thanks :)

Emms: Thank you. Well, you always wanting to be an elf was a bit of luck, then. My first idea for this had Emmy the Elf as a cameo, but I think she turned out quite cute, and so of course ended up hanging around for a lot of the story, and eventually being in the right place at the right time when I got to wondering what to do after Santa had been dealt with.

Kat: Thanks. If anyone wants 'Big Frilly Gun' it's there for the taking - that was also a little jab at the later Doom games and the movie, which tried to retcon it into the more serious Bio-Force Gun. We know what it really means, guys...

db: Thanks :) Hmm, volleyball outfits, nice thought - I'd had that scene written very early on, so it hasn't been to the forefront in my thinking of late. Sporty Tara is always fun to write, for just that reason (and while I was doing a Kim Possible variation, I just can't bring myself to make her a cheerleader, so I went for a more serious sport). Yes, I imagine W&T will have a good ol' freak when their moms sit them down and let them know that they're not just 'good friends' - but no doubt the lure of hot gay Willow-and-Tara love will keep them firmly together, regardless of how strange it may seem for a bit. It'd be fun to see the mixed emotions when gay marriage becomes legal, though - "Yay!" mixed with cringing "Oh my god we're going to be sisters in law!" ;-)

Debra: Thank you :) I do indeed take that as a compliment! (An especially apt one, since I think the first thing I thought of for this story was "Can I get through it without using Cyd's 'You're going down in history, Rudolph!' joke from Specialfriends?") Heh, now that I think of it, I should have had a little 'sweetie' counter ticking over every time Tara said it.

SJ: Thanks :)

watty: Thank you. I can't claim exclusive credit for the evil Santa and Rudolph idea - it was partly Doom, with everything being demonised and cyborged, and partly a line of action figures with, yes, monster Santa and savage Rudolph and so on. (I've got the pole dancer Mrs Claus figure, showing off on the North Pole.)

Zampsa1975: Thank you :)

taralicious: Thanks. Doctor Who was definitely a source of inspiration, what with the evil trees and ornaments and so on - the line of thought through to carniverous holly is direct. I couldn't resist that little tweak of the nose for Buffy and her pouting prowess - I hadn't planned for her to be in the story at all, but then that line rolled around and she was perfect for it. I admit, I did quite like the idea of Mrs Maclay in the hot tub - with no reference for her I was essentially imagining a 40-something Tara, and since Amber Benson seems to get more gorgeous with every passing year, that's a nice thought indeed.

Sally: Thanks :) Emmy delivering the gifts was a last-minute idea - she was going to give them presents from Santa's Sack of Gifts, which always knows exactly what presents would make people happy, but I changed my mind and left it more vague as to whose idea it was to nudge them into kissing. Willow and Tara as step-sisters would indeed be a bit strange... still, they managed okay being kissin' cousins in Dykes of Hazzard, so I guess it'll all sort itself out in the end.

umgaynow: Thanks :) The next story should be along sometime this weekend, I believe...

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 6:18 am 
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17. Mega-Witches
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[center]Image[/center]

Title: It's a Wonderful Witchy Life
By: SallyMcFine
Rated: PG
Disclaimer: The characters aren't mine, they are Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy's, and the story concept is based on the film It's A Wonderful Life, directed and produced by Frank Capra, which itself was based on a short story "The Greatest Gift" by Philip Van Doren Stern.
Thanks: so much to my fellow RKTers, to Mrs. McFine without whom I would have written nothing, and Happy Holidays to all the Kittens.

[hr]

"Tara is a demon, and I'm taking her with me. She belongs with her family."

It was odd, Tara thought, that she could actually feel her life crashing down around her. Every moment of happiness she had shared with Willow these last weeks and months, every tentative good feeling of belonging to a group, the nascent friendships she had built, all of it was collapsing.

Not only did Buffy, Dawn, Xander, Anya, and Willow - oh, Willow, I can't stand the way you're looking at me - now know that she was a demon, they also knew she had cast a spell to keep them from seeing demons.

They knew she was responsible for their injuries. They knew she was a liar and couldn't be trusted. That she was a bad person, not worthy of friendship, respect, or love. She could feel the weight of their stares as she stood in the middle of the war-torn Magic Box. It was deathly quiet.

And to boot, her father and cousin Beth had just stormed into the shop and were hell-bent on taking her home with them. There was no escape.

She felt hollow. Hopeless.

I wish I were dead. Well, not really. Even if she were to die, the damage was still done. Her reputation, friendships, Willow's love - they were all damaged beyond repair. Dying was no saving grace.

"I wish I had never been born," Tara said.

What happened next was confusing. A sudden riot of light and swirling colors blinded her, and the people in her field of vision slowly faded away, as did the Magic Box. Tara felt her stomach flip over as she was transported to...

Where was she? It seemed to be an empty room, but there were no walls.

A voice behind her said, "So now we'll see."

Tara spun around. In front of her stood a demon in a dress with wild red hair and strange striations on her face.

"We'll see what?" she asked. "Who are you? Where am I?"

The demon chuckled. "You have a lot of questions for someone who was never born," she said.

Tara's mind raced. "My wish? You can actually grant my wish?"

"Can, and did - it's granted. Tara Maclay, you were never born." The demon extended her hand, and Tara numbly shook it. "The name's Halfrek."

It was a lot to take in all at once. "So I was never born. Why am I still here?"

"Quality control!" said Halfrek. "Just want to give you a chance to check over the world without you in it, make sure it's to your satisfaction. Once you approve, well - then it's oblivion for you."

Tara blinked. "I didn't know that wish-granting demons were so...solicitous."

"Oh, we're not always, as a rule," Halfrek said. "But I have some extra time, so..." she shrugged. "Want to see the world?"

[center]Image[/center]

It was a different sensation - kind of like how she imagined flying would be, and a little like falling, too. She and Halfrek were traveling high above the landscape.

"Where are we going?"

Halfrek glanced at her. "Back in time, a bit - a few months. Here we are."

Their speed slowed, and they zoomed in on a house. It was Buffy's house. They came to a stop before the picture window. Tara peered inside.

A girl reclined on the couch, flipping through a fashion magazine. Tara's heart gave a lurch - it was Faith.

"What is she doing here?" she hissed.

Halfrek didn't reply, but grasped Tara's arm and guided her forward. They slid through the window and wall as if it were made of gossamer.

Footsteps made Faith look up, and Joyce came down the stairs. "Hey, Mom," Faith said, tossing the magazine aside.

"Hi, honey," Joyce replied. "What do you want for dinner?"

"Oh, I don't know," Faith said. "Whatever." She got up from the couch and followed Joyce into the kitchen.

Tara turned to Halfrek. "What is going on? Why is Faith living here? Where's Buffy?"

Halfrek nodded toward the kitchen. "That is Buffy."

"What?" Realization slowly dawned on her. "Oh, Faith switched bodies with her. But Willow's going to switch them back, right? Are they just plotting the right time?"

Halfrek shook her head. "Willow isn't as powerful a witch without you here," she said. "Or, rather - she's powerful, but she hasn't had anyone to help her learn to focus and control her magic. Creating the katra that you two conjured is beyond her powers right now."

"How long has it been this way?" Tara asked. "That Buffy and Faith have been switched."

"Oh, just two months at this point," Halfrek said.

"Two months?"

"Yes, but don't worry," the demon said reassuringly. "In a couple of months Willow will join forces with a witch who will eventually help her to conjure a katra and switch Buffy and Faith back into their own bodies. Of course, Faith is out there right now wreaking havoc in Buffy's name. No one will ever quite trust the Slayer the way they used to, after this."

Tara felt some consternation, but tried to lay it aside. "Well, at least they do get switched back. That's the important thing."

"Of course!" said Halfrek merrily. "Come on, let's go - I have more to show you."

Halfrek grasped Tara's arm and they zoomed out of the Summers house.

"Where are we going now?"

"Forward a few months," Halfrek said.

Tara felt her stomach drop again as they appeared to circle high over Sunnydale, and then zoomed in again. This time they closed in on the Sunnydale campus, and landed in the hallway outside a dorm room.

"Let's go in," Halfrek said.

It was Willow's room, and Willow sat on her bed absorbed in a book. Her face looked drawn. Tara's heart throbbed painfully to see her girlfriend all alone, and so quiet.

"She looks so lonely," she said to Halfrek.

"You might be right," Halfrek said, her face enigmatic.

The door opened behind them. Tara spun reflexively before realizing that the visitor couldn't see them.

Willow looked up from her book. "Hi, Amy," she said.

"Hey, babe," the woman replied, crossing the room to kiss Willow. The kiss lasted long enough to raise Tara's blood pressure by several notches.

"So this is Willow's new girlfriend, huh?" she said to Halfrek. "Hmph."

"New girlfriend, and old friend," Halfrek said. "That's Amy."

"Amy," Tara repeated. "I don't know an Amy."

"Yes, you did," Halfrek replied. "She was Willow's rat."

"Willow's rat Amy? Willow is dating her rat?"

"When you put it like that, it sounds indecent," Halfrek said. "But Amy wasn't always a rat. She was a girl first. She and Willow were friends all through high school. And Willow had some time on her hands, so she eventually figured a way to change Amy back to her old self."

"And the hussy moved right in on her," Tara said indignantly.

"Well, it's not like she was dating anyone," Halfrek pointed out.

"So what's on tap for tonight?" Amy asked from in front of the mirror, where she was fluffing her hair.

Willow looked up. "Um, nothing, really. Buffy's busy, and Xander and Anya are having date night."

"So it's just you and me?" Amy smiled. "Well, that's great. I have some new spells I've been wanting to try."

She pulled a book out of her backpack and handed it to Willow.

Willow looked at the grimoire. "This is dark magic."

Amy waved a hand in the air. "It's not really really dark magic, Willow. It's harmless. And there are some really cool spells in there. There's a locator spell that's twice as powerful as the one we've been working on."

Willow flipped through the book. "Wow."

"I know!" Amy said. "Just think of all the things we could find. And afterward...well, I have a few other spells I'd like to show you tonight." Her tone was lascivious.

Willow looked up as Amy sashayed across the room toward her, and smiled. Tara could tell that her smile was a little forced. "That sounds great."

"We'll have to work on your sexy talk, lover."

Tara turned away as Amy insinuated herself on the bed next to Willow. "I've seen enough," she said to Halfrek. "Can we go?"

Halfrek nodded, and she and Tara exited the room through the ceiling.

"I can't believe the nerve of that rat!" Tara said once they were clear of the dorm room. "Trying to tempt Willow with dark magic. And it's totally obvious that Willow is not into her. I mean, how could she be? She used to be a rodent."

Halfrek shrugged. "You might be right," she said. "Certainly none of Willow's friends is all that thrilled that she's dating Amy."

"Why aren't they trying to talk some sense into her?" Tara asked.

"You know how it is," Halfrek said. "She's in a new relationship, and she's stubborn. She takes their criticism of Amy as their being discomforted by her sexual orientation."

"But she's clearly not happy," Tara said. "Surely they can see that."

"Well, not necessarily," Halfrek said. "You always saw Willow when her guard was down, and she didn't have anything to prove to anyone. She puts up a good front of being happy when she's around the others. Besides, I think you might be seeing what you want to see - she seemed happy enough to me."

"She did not!" Tara said. "Willow is so strong and self-confident - I can't believe anyone thinks this is the real her."

"Her last relationship ended with her boyfriend sleeping with someone else," Halfrek said reasonably. "She wasn't very confident after that. And Amy - well, let's just say that she's not the least manipulative person I've ever seen. She plays on Willow's insecurity."

"But Xander's been her friend for years," Tara protested. "He, of all people, would call her out on this."

"They've been growing apart lately, and soon they'll stop being friends at all," Halfrek said. "Want to see why?"

Numbly, Tara nodded.

Traveling this time was different - Tara didn't feel her stomach flipping over so much as it felt like it was twisting. Noticing her grimace, Halfrek said "Going forward in time feels different than backward. You'll get used to it."

They came to a halt in front of a small, nondescript brick house. Halfrek led her around to the back and they stopped in front of a window well.

"Xander's house," Halfrek said briefly before grasping Tara's hand. They slid easily through the wall into the basement.

Tara could see the back of Xander's head as he slouched on the couch, the remote control in his hand. Then she gasped as he turned his head to grab a can of soda from the side table. Slowly, she walked around the couch.

Xander's face was covered in angry red boils. It made her wince - even looking at them was painful.

Halfrek joined her. "He doesn't go out much anymore. He does telemarketing these days, works from home."

"What happened?" Tara asked.

"My esteemed colleague, Anyanka happened to him."

"But Anya - why would she do this?"

"Oh, you know Anyanka - she's always been a jealous sort, and no one ever really liked her when she was around. Their relationship just sort of fell apart, and she went back to her old ways. And Dawn had a crush on Xander, but when he told her that it could never be, that he thought of her as a kid sister - well, she made a wish."

"A wish," Tara repeated.

"Yes - and it was effective. She wished that he was so ugly that no woman would ever want to be around him. And Anyanka granted her wish - it's her speciality."

Halfrek was silent as Tara took all this in.

"But I don't understand," she finally said. "Sure, their relationship had its problems - but they didn't seem like they were that...unstable."

"Maybe not when you were around," Halfrek said. "But Willow really didn't like Anya, and without you there to mitigate that, well, poor Anyanka. She never had a chance. But oh well! The mortal world's loss is the vengeance demon world's gain. Are you ready to go?"

"Where are we going now?" Tara asked.

"Nowhere in particular," Halfrek said as they zoomed upward, coming to rest again in that featureless place where they had started out. "I've shown you what the world is like without you. Do you think it's a better place?"

Tara was silent for a moment. "No - not really," she finally replied.

"Do you still wish you were never born?"

"No," Tara said. Her sense of loss was overwhelming. An idea struck her. "Can I...take it back?"

Halfrek eyed her. "Take it back?"

"I don't wish I was never born," Tara said. "Is it too late?"

Halfrek smiled at her. "As it happens, it's not too late," she said. "I don't normally do this sort of thing, but I kept an option out on your wish and haven't completely fulfilled it yet."

"Can I go back?"

Halfrek nodded.

"Thank you!" Tara burst out, and enveloped the startled Halfrek in a hug.

As she pulled back, she asked "Why are you doing this? I appreciate it - but I didn't think that vengeance demons normally went for this teaching-a-lesson sort of thing."

"We don't," Halfrek said. "I'll get in a bit of trouble with D'Hoffryn and his secretary, Emmy - she hates unfulfilled wishes, so much paperwork - but it's nothing I can't handle. And hey - it's Christmas."

"It's October."

"The season comes earlier every year!" Halfrek chirped. "Now, get back to your life. And remember - every time lesbians kiss, a vengeance demon gets her wings."

The last thing Tara saw before the world dissolved again into swirling lights and colors was Halfrek winking at her.

She reappeared in the middle of the Magic Box. It was as if she had never left.

All of a sudden Spike's fist connected with her nose. "Hey!" she heard Willow shout.

"He hit my nose!" Tara said, recoiling.

Spike reeled back, clutching his forehead, and addressed her father.

"There's no demon in there. That's just a family legend, am I right? Just a bit of spin to keep the ladies in line. Oh, you're a piece of work. I like you."

Tara gingerly felt her nose, confirming that it was still in one piece, before the import of Spike's action sank in. Spike was hurt when he punched her. She wasn't a demon. Her father didn't have any hold over her.

She looked up and found Willow's eyes, basking in the love she saw reflected there.

Her father spoke. "This is insane. You people have no right to interfere with Tara's affairs. We are her blood kin! Who the hell are you?"

Buffy answered him. "We're family."

One by one the rest of the gang joined Buffy, affirming the sentiment and adding that Tara's blood kin would have to go through them to take her away.

"A wonderful family," Tara whispered, and grasped Willow's hand.

[center]Image
THE END[/center]

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 9:01 am 
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SALLY! YAY! DIBS!

ETA: Wow. A world without Tara. A scary place indeed. Glad things went back to normal in the end. (Of course, this is the Kitten, so that's pretty much a given.)

Awesome fic, Sally. Glad to see you writing again. Can we expect to see an update to "Dimension Dementia" soon? I'll give you Christmas cookies and eggnog. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 9:27 am 
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Brrrrr.... frightening. But a good look at what might have been, and a reminder of how integral Tara was to the Scoobie dynamic.

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 6:20 pm 
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Sally - I'm so thrilled to see (or read) your writing again. Always funny quips. It seems like in this one Halfrek got all the good lines:

Quote:
"Quality control!" said Halfrek. "Just want to give you a chance to check over the world without you in it, make sure it's to your satisfaction. Once you approve, well - then it's oblivion for you."
and
Quote:
"The season comes earlier every year!" Halfrek chirped.


It was quick but three glimpses definitely tells us what we know about one person: Tara really does make a difference.

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 4:37 am 
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Grerat fic!


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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:33 pm 
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Like the Doctor, a cosmos without Tara scarcely bears thinking about but it does indeed show how integral her presence was in the lives of all the Slayer's Circle.
This explores any number of "What if...? questions that such an alternate timeline would engender.
For it was Tara who suggested she and Willow perform the spell in which Willow journeyed to the Nether Realm and they consummated their relationship with the "Flaming O" spell and as a byproduct of it they found out that both Faith and Buffy's auras were askew and Faith had switched bodies with her.
Tara had a calming and centering effect upon Willow's raw and unenlightened grasp of the rudiments of magic and how such elemental forces needed to be balanced and kept in check.
Without Tara's tutelage, Willow easily fell prey to such delights as Amy was all too willing to tempt her with.
With regards to Xander and Anya, Tara was the conciliator, the peacemaker, the empathic listener who instinctively knew that Anya meant well but couldn't entriely overcome her demon heritage.
She was nice to Anya and accepted her unconditionally whenever Anya disregarded the millions of rules governing human etiquette and protocol.
Without Tara's influence, the Slayer's Circle would fall victim to the forces of chaos and entropy.

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 7:35 pm 
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Sally!

Lookit. A special holiday treat! A story by Sally just for me!

And a cute, funny holiday classic remake to boot!

It's a Wonderful Life is totally my favorite holiday show. It gets me *every* time -- *sigh*.

Needless to say, I enjoyed lf immensely.

Life-without Tara is @ss. Loved your characterization of Tara's dismay at witnessing the yuckiness such a world. Life without Tara is just wrong -- which is basically the essence of this whole board! Kudos for capturing that in your story. What a neat holiday type gift, thank you!

It's nice to see your name in lights again :-D

db

Edited to correct my spelling. Which is, in general, atrocious... but then I realized I'd never finished a thought so then I did.

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Last edited by db on Mon Dec 24, 2007 7:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:47 pm 
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I first have to reply to Chris's wonderful work before snarfing down any more holiday delights. Like pecan tarts, it's so easy to just stuff oneself.

Chris, this was a true delight. I always admire people who can combine clever ideas with wonderful wordplay. Your twist on "A Visit from St. Nick," esp. in the first section, had me cracking up. In fact, many things had me cracking up, including (but not limited to) the following:

Quote:
"I'd like to preface this by saying I'm opposed to indiscriminate violence, and this is a matter of strict necessity!" she called out, before opening fire and obliterating the evil cyber-reindeer before they even knew what hit them.
What a wonderful juxtaposition of tone: so formal, and then so...kablooey.

Quote:
"Our school principal started up an extra-curricular activities program," Tara explained.
And to think that all I had to choose from were sports and academics.

Quote:
"Right, not 'together' at all," Emmy muttered slyly to herself.
You know, that Emmy's a sharp one. She knew I was a lesbian way before I came out to her.

Quote:
"It was Santa," Emmy sighed. "He was always, you know, erratic - part Pagan figurehead, part Turkish saint, part commercialised selling point, not surprising he ended up a bit unstable, not to mention the hangovers after all those sherries all in one evening. I don't think the Tim Allen movie helped either. Anyway, he came up with this idea to summon dark and ancient powers to do his bidding, instead of relying on us elves, since he got annoyed by us always trying to get him to get therapy for his personality disorders, or at least a detox for the sherry..."
How much did the therapist in me love this bit? I have long, long worried for Santa's mental health, and I see now both that I was justified and that Ems was--as usual--way ahead of me.

Quote:
"It's nice that our mums get along," Willow said absently, screwing down a final panel.
Now this is a great example of one of my favorite things in such pieces: a little side-story--not even a full story--that the reader keys in on before the protagonist(s). Clad in a towel, eh, Mrs. Maclay? Yes, Willow, your mums do get along.

Quote:
"Uh, the song goes 'you'd better not pout,' maybe he doesn't like pouting?" Tara suggested.

"Maybe, but I still haven't got the teleporter working, so there's no way to get Buffy here in a hurry," Willow said.
So brief, and yet so beautiful. I laughed aloud, I did. My cats looked at me in alarm.

Quote:
As they leaned closer, the two cards drifted to the carpet, landing face up, displaying the identical messages: "Yes, she really does want you to kiss her."
And this was quite possibly my favorite moment. So well done, Chris--no dramatic build-up, just permission that we've been hoping they'd give each other. I loved how they kept calling each other "best friends"--so reminiscent of the language many of us used (hid behind?) before we were clued in.

This is great, Chris. Thank you so much for writing it.

Mary

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2007 3:47 am 
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Ho ho ho, Sallypants. That was as perfect for the season as hot fudge sauce is for ice cream. I can't help but feel that Halfrek didn't really want to go ahead with the spell -- but she needed to let Tara see for herself what would otherwise happen so Tara could rescind the wish. Tara, like all of us sometimes, may think that she's too small to be significant in the universe but how wrong is she? Very.

Great to see that lessons taught don't have to be done the hard way. Love your trademark humour and one-liners.
Quote:
Willow is dating her rat?

Of all the things she could get indignant about, this was what got Tara's feathers up? Hee.

Can't believe it falls to Halfrek to change the world for the better. But I'm glad she did.
[br]

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 1:07 pm 
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SithLordWiccan

Hey Alex! Congrats on your dibs. A world without Tara is a very scary place. And yes - I'm glad they went back to normal in the end too. The thing I liked about using It's a Wonderful Life is that since it all happens in "other-space" place is that it doesn't necessarily change anything about canon.

DD update *sigh* :) I'll keep you posted on that one. Thanks Alex!

[hr]

diamondforever

When I was thinking about the things that could have happened if Tara hadn't been there, at first I thought I wouldn't be able to think of much, but I ended up having more ideas than I could fit into the story! Thanks for reading.

[hr]

JustSkipIt

Hey Debra - yeah, I guess since Anya wasn't really in the story I had to give the good lines to the other vengeance demon.

Yeah - Tara was pretty integral to it all. I mean, I'm sure if they decided not to have her as a character but kept the same storylines, that they would have solved things a different way, but yeah - she had a pretty big impact in a relatively short amount of time.

Thanks for reading!

[hr]

SJ

Thank you very much! :)

[hr]

taralicious

The Doctor - is that Doctor Who? Never watched that show though it looked intriguing.

My favorite kind of AU fic is the "What if?" fic. You're right, it was Tara who suggested the spell that she and Willow did with the Flaming O. She must have had ulterior motives. Heh.

Interestingly, I guess even though Tara was a stabilizing influence on Willow, Willow did succumb to the dark magic, so it's not like she was the ultimate savior of all, eh?

Thank you for reading Blayne and happy holidays!

[hr]

db

db-pants!

Yep, a special story just for you. Hee! I do like It's a Wonderful Life although I have trouble watching it more than once every few years. I guess because the unhappiness of it all is just too powerful.

It was nice to have written again, and having nice comments from readers like you makes it all worthwhile. :) Life without Tara is just wrong - heh. That's too true.

[hr]

watty

Ho ho ho indeed! Ho ho. I think you're right, Halfrek was more in the teaching a lesson thing than actually obliviating Tara. I was discussing that with Mrs. McFine and she said that since Halfrek's specialty was helping children that had been treated badly by their parents (or something) that maybe this was Halfrek's way of helping Tara get vengeance on her father. Since living well is the best revenge and all that, but never having been born punishes no one.

Hee hee - well, rodent-human relations are still misunderstood and discriminated against, so I can't blame Tara too much for her reaction. Heee.

Hot fudge and ice cream! Hot damn! That sounds like the perfect dinner, in fact.

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:04 pm 
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Hey Sally! Great to see you posting on the board again! This was such a cute little story, and now I'm pretty much compelled to read all of them. I loved your take on "It's a Wonderful Life."

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 7:32 pm 
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Hi everyone,
I'm butting into the thread to announce that our daughter was born this morning. We've named her Chiara Beth after my wife's grandmother and sister. She weighed 8lb10oz, 19.75 inches, and was born at 9:51.

Here are two pictures:

Chiara's exam

My new baby

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 8:54 pm 
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Congrats Debra! She's beautiful!

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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:57 pm 
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Lots of baby yay! Congrats to you and your family!


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 Post subject: Re: Stocking Stuffers: Little Gifts from RKT
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:02 am 
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The best stocking stuffer of all...brand new life... and she is beautiful.

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